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Review: Bank Job - Escape Reality, Leicester

Room Story - from Escape Reality

An elite team of highly skilled and experienced bank robbers has been assembled. Assigned with the task of infiltrating the security at one of world’s most protected bank vaults, you must steal the world’s most valuable diamond. show more.... You are the chosen few who must accept this challenge. Other members of your notorious organisation have entered earlier that night, but their efforts proved to be unsuccessful. Working with the clues they have left behind, and your extensive plan to gain access to the high security areas, your team is ready. All security cameras have been disabled for the next hour. You have 60 minutes to locate and steal the diamond before the cameras turn back on and you are caught!

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Key Stats

Room NameBank Job
VenueEscape Reality
LocationLeicester, UK
Date18/02/2017
Escape TimeDidn't Escape
Team Size3
My Recommended Team SizeDon't know

Review

The primary reason I love escape rooms is the immersion and story. For 60 minutes, I like to feel like I’ve been transported somewhere else entirely and that the puzzles I’m completing are leading me towards some goal. I didn’t feel that this game met either of those criteria.

I will heavily caveat this review with the fact that we really didn’t progress very far in this room, so there could have been a lot more further in the room that we just didn’t see.

When you enter the room you’re given a bag of clues and an iPad (more about that later). A big factor of most games is that there is an element of searching involved to explore the room and discover the pieces for your puzzles. With this room, all the things you needed seemed to be provided in the bag which removed any need for searching and led to quite a static game.

Upon entering the room, my first impressions weren’t great. We weren’t given any storyline and there wasn’t a great deal in the room. It was essentially a plain grey painted room. There was nothing at all to give you the impression you were in a bank.

The first two puzzles were fairly logical, although we significantly overthought them, convinced there were additional things we needed to find to complete them. When we got to the third puzzle, this is where we really got stuck. The puzzle just didn’t make any logical sense.

The iPad you are given when you enter the room is your clue system. Each puzzle has a numbered QR code sticker that you scan to receive a hint or much larger clue. I can’t remember the exact rule (as I’m writing this review over a year later), but when you used a clue, it resulted in a time penalty being added to your escape time. I really disliked the iPad because it didn’t feel very immersive, it didn’t give you a clue tailored to your progress in the game and using clues felt punitive.

After being stuck on the third puzzle for some time, we were really surprised to see somebody enter the room behind us. We were a little confused at first about whether the game had ended, but he’d actually come to give us the answer to the puzzle. Again, this made the room feel like a place you’ve come to do a few puzzles rather than an immersive experience. We all agreed that without the answer we simply wouldn’t have worked out the puzzle, it was very illogical.

We didn’t get much further beyond this puzzle before the game ended and we left extremely disappointed. The combination of the lack of immersion, the “self-help” clue system and the static and sometimes illogical puzzles led to a disappointing and rather frustrating experience.

The team were Julie, Daniel and Becky.

Ratings

Overall We were disappointed with this game, it wasn’t very immersive and felt very frustrating at times.
Difficulty We didn’t get very far in the game at all.
Fun We had a bit of fun, but the experience was largely frustrating.
Puzzles The puzzles we played were very static and we found some to be very illogical.
Immersion The room didn’t feel immersive at all. This was compounded by somebody walking in midway through the game.
Surprises It was largely a predictable experience as the puzzles are numbered.

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